Friday Wildflower Fix: Wattle

Wattle (acacia) is prolific on the high northern flanks of the Grose Valley in the Blue Mountains. In the spring you can often spot several varieties of this distinctively Australian flower on the walk into Bell Crag, a relatively new sport climbing area in the Blue Mountains. After bush fires tore through the area in October the access track was closed for some months for assessment and rehabilitation.

I’m looking forward to seeing the new life released by the fires: the epicormic growth, the seeds released by heat into the newly fertilised soil. As devastating as fire can be to humans and animals, the Australian bush needs it to survive.   And of all the plants which benefit, the wattle gains perhaps the most.  It sheds its seeds each year and they lie waiting for the heat of a fire to break their hard seed coats, releasing the seeds into nutrient rich ash where they will wait for the next rains.

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